The Red Pill

red_pill_poster

IronCrossIronCrossIronCrossgood

I’m truly thrilled that The Red Pill, the documentary from Cassie Jaye about her “journey” from being a feminist to not being a feminist via the Men’s Rights movement, has received an 8.7 on IMDB and a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Honestly, I am. It means people are opening their eyes and starting to listen to something other than the mainstream, “women is so oppressed” narrative.

But let’s be honest here; unless you’re an anorexic, nerdy sissy boy, who only hung out with kinda cute, glasses wearing hipster gurlz, the ones that LOVED being your friend, but made you wonder why YOU’RE always being friend-zoned in favor of guys with a fraction of your intelligence, and THEN made you feel GUILTY for complaining about it, there is nothing particularly groundbreaking about The Red Pill. The movie treats feminism as if it’s the main problem in our society, rather than one of the many weapons used by the cultural Marxist and globalist beast to try to destroy Western civilization; in fact, the notion that it could even BE a left/right, or rather globalist/anti-globalist issue, isn’t even touched upon. I’ve never considered myself a Men’s Rights activist. Many of the figureheads in the men’s movement don’t even see it as a left/right issue. I’ve actually known many “anti-feminist” men who don’t realize that feminism IS a form of leftism, and that supporting anyone on the left IS supporting the very ideology they say they’re against. Or to put it more succinctly, A Voice for Men editor Dean Esmay’s support for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 election is tantamount to a civil rights leader in the 1960s supporting George Wallace.

There is a segment that lasts all of one minute – among 120 of them – that addresses how, in the 60s, the equality warriors switched their target from capitalism to patriarchy, but it’s so dinky, that one wonders why Jaye even bothered putting it in the movie in the first place.

But if we’re going to REALLY be addressing the elephants in the room, and if above all else, film is a visual medium, where the images are intended to elicit a reaction, it’s actually kind of infuriating watching shots of the cutie Cassie Jaye, who resembles a plumper, rounder Christina Applegate – don’t worry, Cassie, I wouldn’t make you lose 15 lbs. to have a seat on MY casting couch – interviewing pathetic looking, depressing old men, as they tell their stories about losing everything to a system that’s stacked against them.  I mean, JUST THE FACT that she’s IN the frame with them getting all misty eyed, listening to them talk about how they got royally screwed, while not addressing how incredibly privileged she is in our society by being blessed with hotness, struck me as painfully disingenuous. I mean, sheeyit, lady, you may be a narcissist, but do you have to make it that obvious? But who knows? Maybe this will lead to other women joining in an anti-feminist insurrection.

In The Red Pill, Jaye interviews key figures in the Men’s Rights movement; honestly the only ones I recognized were Paul Elam, Dean Esmay and Karen Straughan; I’m too lazy to look up the rest of ’em. One of them was a 60s male feminist, but changed tracks when he realized all that “freedom” women achieved by tossing off the “shackles” of their normal, middle class lives in favor of becoming spinsters and cat ladies didn’t provide the satisfaction they once imagined it would. But basically, we learn about all of the typical men’s rights talking points; women who trick men by not taking their birth control and enslaving them to a life of child support payments; men who see their coffers depleted in custody battles only to get to see their kids a couple hours a week; female on male spousal abuse not being taken seriously; male rape not being taken seriously; lighter prison sentences for women for the same crimes men committed; men working life threatening jobs to provide for their families only to be told they’re oppressing women; the male/female wage gap myth; and of course there’s a bit of male circumcision thrown in at the end for all the mondo fans. Don’t tell the Jews, though; they may get this movie shut down in your town (psst, I’m allowed to say that because I am one)!!!

We’re also given the counterpoints to these arguments from some harpy at Ms. magazine, some gay Jewish guy and of course the loud, shrill and obnoxious Big Red, who kinda resembles my former friend Sarah.

But another thing that bothered me about the movie is that it didn’t really address how feminism negatively affects women. Maybe Cassie Jaye hasn’t learned about hypergamy yet or that the only things feminism really accomplished was making it easier for men to get laid since it made women sluttier, while boosting the sales for antidepressants and keeping pet store owners in business. At VERY least, Jaye addresses that getting catcalled and having to look pretty (aww, poor baby) don’t really seem to be that big of problems in comparison with getting crushed to death in a coal mine avalanche, getting blown to bits on a battle field or having your life savings drained. And hey, in about 20 years, once the flesh starts to sag and wrinkles start to show, she won’t even HAVE to worry about getting catcalled.

A decade ago, when I was at Grand Valley State University, I picked up a book from the women’s center called Transforming a Rape Culture. At the time, I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen, and most people balked at the suggestion that all men are rapists or predisposed to commit rape. Also, apparently it wasn’t considered “oppressive” to refer to slutty women as sluts; it was just honest. In fact, I LOVE sluts! They put out the quickest, and thanks to all that female empowerment, they’re not just damaged women with daddy issues! All of this was before Obama was even President. A lot has changed since then. Men can now put on dresses and call themselves women; women who get gang-banged by twenty dudes are considered “empowered”; men who ask women on dates can be accused of sexual assault; man, has society progressed! Thank you Cassie Jaye for setting the clock back about ten years.

Ten Things I Will Always Find Funny About Old Movies

dvdsA couple days ago, I once again enjoyed Howard Hawks’ 1959 western Rio Bravo, in which John Wayne plays sheriff John T. Chance, who is trying to keep a gang of thugs from running roughshod all over his dinky little town, while only having help from an alcoholic named Dude played by Dean Martin and a cripple named Stumpy played by Walter Brennan. There’s so much to like about the movie; the budding romance between an awkward and possibly virginal John T. Chance and the super hot gambling huckster babe Feathers (Angela Dickinson); Dean Martin’s struggle with the bottle; the comic relief from Stumpy; the gun slinging action; baby faced Ricky Nelson proving his chops to the older guys… what a GREAT movie, right?

Well, yeah, except if you’re not used to watching these kinds of movies. For one thing, at two hours and twenty minutes, Rio Bravo doesn’t exactly BREEZE by. On top of that, for being a western, it’s actually pretty low on action. It’s a CHARACTER driven movie, rather than one based upon a lot of fast paced gun play. Thirdly, I can picture young people finding Ricky Nelson incredibly annoying with his “yes sir”/”no sir”/”gee wiz sir” persona. Okay he doesn’t say “gee wiz”, but he does look like an overly wholesome little boy, not a rough and tumble gunslinger. And fourth, you have to suspend your disbelief since nobody bleeds when they get shot, and John Wayne gets knocked out rather easily when he trips over some wire. I’ll talk about those below, but my point is that, unless someone regularly watches old films and is used to suspending his or her disbelief, which is what audiences had to do before better special effects were created, a movie like Rio Bravo might seem dated and downright silly.

So, the other day, I read an article from LA Weekly called “Stop Laughing At Old Movies, You $@%&ing Hipsters” in which the author complained that hipsters laugh at old movies because of the hammy acting, outdated special effects and cheap set designs. While, in principle, I agree this is a stupid thing to do, especially if you shelled out the money for the movie in the first place, I also feel that the author was using the wrong movie with which to make her point.

She had attended a screening of Mario Bavo’s 1961 fantasy epic Hercules in the Haunted World, for which the theater provided a 23-piece orchestra and nine singers to accompany the soundtrack. What the fuck for? Hercules in the Haunted World is one of hundreds of Italian peplum films that came out in the late 50s though the early 60s; sword and sandal adventure epics where shaved and greased down, half naked body builders of questionable acting ability fight atop foam rocks and coliseum backdrops either in historical reenactments or purely fantastical plots against giant puppets or stop motion monsters while attempting to save unbelievably gorgeous women, who are most likely supermodels, not professional actresses. Do you see where I’m going with this? Hercules in the Haunted World is not exactly high art. So the fact that people laughed at the melodrama, cheesy special effects or the fake looking sets is NOT necessarily because of their philistinism, but possibly because the movie was legitimately funny at times.

That doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable, but COME ON. Some things just DO NOT age well. And considering the other examples of films the author gave- 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Godfather, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, The Exorcist – it make me wonder if she’s not talking out of her ass or just happened to be in the theater on a particularly bad day. So I decided to give the “hipsters” the benefit of the doubt and compile a list of items from old movies which will always evoke at least a smirk out of me, if not outright laughter. Lighten up guys, they’re just movies.

1.) When people get knocked out cold by a single, ineffectual hit

Either people were much weaker in the past, or people used to hit a lot harder, but it’s funny to note how easily people can just get knocked out in old movies. I’ve taken the kinds of hits and spills that have knocked out some of the characters in these old movies and not gotten knocked out; am I then to believe that I’m tougher than John Wayne? Case in point; Rio Bravo. The nogoodniks in the film stretch a string across the base of a stairway, John Wayne goes running down it, crashes to the ground and is out like a light. Now, that’s just ridiculous; I’ve actually drunkenly tumbled down concrete stairs and stood up unaffected. Scott Rosendall, my wheelchair confined buddy, went speeding down a flight of stairs, sat up and crawled into his awaiting wheelchair. Is wheelchair using Scott Rosendall then tougher than John Wayne? Another example that immediately comes to mind is when the monster in The Thing from Another World (1951) pushed the scientist over, and he was out cold. Seriously, the monster just pushed him, and he was out. If people got knocked out just from being pushed, then every single mosh pit would quickly turn into a mountain of unconscious bodies laying one atop another.

2.) When people get shot, but don’t bleed

Howard Hawks’ 1932 gangster classic Scarface, which stars Paul Muni as a prohibition era liquor peddling thug named Tony Comanti, was once considered one of the most violent movies of all time. But how violent is a movie where nobody expels any actual blood? We see lots of smoking guns and people clutching their chests and/or bellies either out of pain or to hide the fact that there is no actual bullet hole, but NOBODY BLEEDS!!! Now, in old fashion Westerns, this is somewhat excusable considering that cowboys were using pea shooters that often couldn’t even break skin, but for cryin’ out loud, these gangsters are using TOMMY GUNS to fill rival gangsters and the occasional innocent bystander full of holes. What’s even more problematic is that this wasn’t fully alleviated until WELL into the 60s. Although Hammer studios introduce blood and gore via Dracula (known as Horror of Dracula in North America) to the big screen and a surprising amount of it considering it came out in 1958, and Hitchcock’s Psycho had “blood” in the form of chocolate syrup going down a shower drain during the infamous Janet Leigh stabbing scene, and John Ford’s 1962 western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance showed a tiny bit of blood dripping from John Wayne’s arm, Sergio Leone’s 1964 western A Fistful of Dollars had a scene where some banditos disguised as Union soldiers gun down a bunch of Mexican soldiers, and NONE of the Mexican soldiers bleeds a single drop. Thank God for the invention of the squib!

3.) When monsters can do nothing but push or throw people

In real life, if you pick up a little girl and throw her into your local pond, and she drowns, you’re one sadistic son of a bitch! However, if you do the same thing in a movie, such as the 1931 classic Frankenstein, you’re pretty much stretching the boundaries for the amount of violence you’re allowed to inflict on other people on a movie screen. Wait, no, there is the part where Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant Fritz is found hanging on a noose, but in general, the movie monsters couldn’t really DO anything, and you had to REALLY use your imagination. Probably the most annoying culprit is the creature in Creature from the Black Lagoon. It screeches, it stomps around, it kidnaps the girl, it pushes people and well, it pushes more people. Hey, did you see that super crazy, violent horror movie where the monster pushes people? Okay, old horror movies did have some surprisingly grizzly scenes – the human head hunting trophies in The Most Dangerous Game, the scene where Bela Lugosi skins Boris Karloff alive in The Black Cat, the scene at the end of Island of Lost Souls where the mutants revolt and mutilate Charles Laughton with surgical tools, the scene in Freaks where we see Olga after she’s been turned into a duck woman – but none of the actual violence happens ON screen; one noteworthy exception is in the 1933 British horror film The Ghoul, where a corpse played by Boris Karloff carves an ankh into his chest with a knife, and I suppose you can count the scene in King Kong when the gorilla steps on a baby’s head, but these are the exception. Do we get to SEE the werewolf in Werewolf of London or The Wolf Man mutilate people? Did we actually SEE Count Dracula suck anyone’s blood? Of course not (at least not until Terence Fisher’s 1958 adaptation of Dracula); we have to pretend these monsters are hurting people! One point of interest is that, in 1938, when Frankenstein had a theatrical re-release (on a triple bill with Dracula and Son of Kong), censors in various cities snipped the part where the monster throws the girl into the water, cutting right as the monster leans in on her and grins, unintentionally implying something far more sinister than what actually took place in the excised footage.

4.) When people replace swear words with words that you hear in kids cartoons

Imagine you’re watching a detective or gangster picture, and a character gets really angry, and he says, “you better watch it, buster!” BUSTER? Did people actually say BUSTER back then? Not even “you bastard”, but “BUSTER”?! Somehow seeing Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe or Mike Hammer or Little Ceasar Rico or Tom Powers or whoever else say “buster” just doesn’t make them seem as bad ass as they once seemed. And everyone knows that, when people think of “bad ass”, they think of an adorable, diminutive  Jewish man named Edward G. Robinson.

5.) Any black actor prior to Sidney Poitier, Woody Strode or that one guy in Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing

In the 1950s, liberal directors of the era all of a suddenly began casting blacks in relatively respectable roles. When I say blacks, I mean Sidney Poitier, Woody Strode and that one guy that was in Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing; and by “respectable”, I mean you’re supposed to feel bad for that guy – okay, fine, his name is James Edwards, and he was in such noteworthy films as Robert Wise’s The Set-Up (1949) and Samuel Fuller’s The Steel Helmet (1951) – when Timothy Carey tells him, “you’re wrong, nigger.” But before that, hooo boy… You don’t want to laugh because you’ll be looked at as an asshole, but hey, back then the roles given to black actors weren’t exactly the most empowering, talking like completely illiterate, recently freed slaves with their “suh, suh, I’s dint know, suh suh.” To be fair, Clarence Muse, the coach driver in the 1932 horror film White Zombieand I guess he was in a bunch of other stuff, like the b-picture Invisible Ghost (1941) and Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street (1945) –  wasn’t too, how shall I say it… well, he shouts, “ZOMBIES!!!”, not “SUH! SUH! I SEES ZOMBIES, SUH!!!” However the same can’t be said for Mantan Moreland in King of the Zombies (1941) or Napoleon Simpson in  The Mummy’s Curse (1944). Oh, and check out the hilarious maid roles played by Butterfly McQueen in Gone with the Wind (1939), Mildred Pierce (1945) and many others. Quoth McQueen: “I didn’t mind playing a maid the first time, because I thought that was how you got into the business. But after I did the same thing over and over, I resented it. I didn’t mind being funny, but I didn’t like being stupid.”

6.) All white people pretending to be non-white people

I’m definitely going to hell for this one… from Walter Long as the freed slave Gus in Birth of a Nation to Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer to Boris Karloff’s portrayal of the “yellow menace” Fu Manchu in The Mask of Fu Manchu to Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to all of the Spaniards and Italians who played Indians in John Ford’s Cheyenne Autumn… in our modern times, it’s seen as ugly, tacky, grotesque and unpleasant the way many a white actor has portrayed blacks, Asians, Americans Indians and even Arabs – Stanley Donen’s 1965 film Arabesque f’rinstance –  but the clumsy and ham-fisted delivery of these characters causes me to giggle, and to suppress your laughter in the face of political correctness is to die a slow death.

7.) When people act overly scared by stuff that isn’t very scary

Once again, to be fair, one could say this about the majority of old horror films. However, sometimes  an actor or actress’s delivery is so melodramatic, and the fear he or she evinces is so over the top when compared to what he or she is experiencing in the movie, that it becomes comical. The funniest example off the top of my head is the woman shrieking as though she’s being raped as a puppet skeleton approaches her in William Castle’s 1959 schlock fest House on Haunted Hill.

8.) People in rubber monster costumes destroying miniature cities

Everyone who knows about Godzilla knows that each Godzilla movie got progressively sillier, as Godzilla himself went from being a symbol of atomic horror to a downright adorable, lovable dinosaur that, in spite destroying entire cities, had a buddy in the form of a ten year old boy in Godzilla’s Revenge (1969). But even in the original 1954 Gojira, the one where it’s a straight up horror movie without any of the cutesiness, he’s still just a guy in a suit throwing around toy cars and walking over miniature model cities between cuts of freaked out Tokyo citizens. And let’s face it; in a lot of these films, the buildings just look like milk cartons with squares painted on them. In the case of the 1962 Swedish monster film Reptilicus, a miniature monster destroys other miniatures and, since no rear screen projection is even used to put people on screen with the monster, the film ends up looking like a glorified puppet show.

9.) Scrolling backgrounds you see from car windows

Driving sequences in old movies just don’t look very realistic, ya know?

10.) REALLY vague allusions to sex 

The film noir pot boiler Kiss Me Deadly, adapted from the Mickey Spillane novel of the same name, directed by Robert Aldrich and starring Ralph Meeker as the sleazy private dick Mike Hammer, is a remarkably modern, unflinchingly violent and hard edged film for something that came out in 1955; the torture sequence alone is rather chilling. Yet even it suffered from the censorious confines of the era in which it was conceived. It’s remarkable how intimidating both Meeker and the underworld thugs he encounters can be in spite nary a single cuss word being uttered. But what I found rather odd was how, when Hammer spoke with his lovely secretary Velda (Maxine Cooper), he asked her, “did you date him?” This is code for, “did you seduce him and/or sleep with him in order to snag him in an extramarital affair?” Now, come on, he asks her “did you date him?” She could just as easily say, “Yep! We went to the movies last night, and it was great!” At least that’s how I would have interpreted such a question. Another example of this type of vague sexual allusion is in Fritz Lang’s 1952 drama Clash by Night, in which Jerry D’Amato(Paul Douglas) finds out that his wife Mae (Barbra Stanwyck) had been cheating on him with Robert Ryan’s character Earl Pfeiffer. The line they used to reveal this was, “we spent all afternoon together.” WE SPENT ALL AFTERNOON TOGETHER?! Doing what? Playing cards? Watching TV? Picking our bellybutton lint? We’re just supposed to KNOW that when a man and a woman spend the afternoon together – not the NIGHT, mind you – they were necessarily fucking?!

SavageHippie’s Top Ten Worst Films of All Time

Film-Reels-1986

Note: I’m no longer in L.A.  The rest of article remains the same.

I’m still in L.A. and I’m trying to figure out how to get to the Museum of Death, but, in the meantime, since I am in the home of the American film industry, I decided to list off the ten absolute worst films of all time.  Now, I watch a lot of movies that would be considered “bad” by normal person metrics; exploitation, Eurotrash, old horror, the entire Something Weird filmography, so my threshold is different from most people’s.

That means that, for me to consider a movie legitimately bad, it has to actively offend me.  In that way, I’m no different from Roger Ebert  or Gene Siskel, who award “zero stars” to films which are not “bad” in the traditional way, but offend whatever moral code they prescribe to.  Of course their ideas of morality and justice are different from mine in a lot of ways, so I’ve actually enjoyed many of their “zero star” films, among which include the mondo Africa addio, the futuristic race car splatter classic Death Race 2000, the rape/revenge flick I Spit on Your Grave and the Bob Guccioni produced Caligula.  Hell, Quentin Tarantino said rather enthusiastically that one of their “zero star” films, the slavery drama Mandingo, is the only exploitation flick ever produced by a major Hollywood studio.  And you best believe that Taraninto’s inclusion of Mandingo fighters in Django Unchained had little to do with attempting to be historically accurate and more to do with paying homage to the 1975 film.

So, what are MY “zero star” films?  What films are so stupid, awful and offensive that I would award them a grade of zero if I were to write film reviews for a major newspaper?  Read on and see!

10.) Crash (2005)

Not to be confused with David Cronenberg’s 1996 film of the same name, which is about sex and car crashes and based upon a work by J.G. Ballard, the 2005 film, which was directed by Paul Haggis, is one of the most idiotic, pedantic and in your face treatises ’bout dat racism.

It’s hard for me not to like a movie where a big time rapper says, “dawg, there’s a dead Chinaman under your car”, but somehow, this movie managed to elicit that response.  It’s just an Altman-esque pastiche of interweaving stories, all of which involve major Hollywood actors yelling lines where they say a bunch of generic “racist” stereotypes.  There is almost no real acting involved in any of it and the stories are so damn stupid and predictable, that you wonder if this wasn’t intended to be a made for TV special.  For instance, Matt Dillon plays a racist cop, who then saves a black woman.  Why is he racist?  He just is, ya know.  Did saving the black woman’s life make him un-racist?  I dunno, maybe.

9.) Dead Man Walking (1995)

This two hour anti-capital punishment propaganda film was directed by Tim Robbins and stars Sean Penn and big boobed commie pinko, Susan Sarandon.  Sarandon is the nun and tries to comfort Sean Penn, who is a neo-Nazi about to be killed on death row for murdering someone.  At first you think Penn is a bad guy because he killed someone, but then you realize he’s also a human being, so he deserves sympathy.  Sarandon tries to drag this sympathy out of the victim’s family.  Why would she do such an obviously inappropriate thing?  I dunno, because he’s got blood and veins and eyeballs and bones and feet and hands and skin.  Oh and he said he’s cool with Martin Luther King, Jr., so he can’t be all bad.

8.) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)

It’s hard for me to really hate this movie since it’s pretty entertaining, but the message from antiquated, ’60s liberal Stanley Kramer is so dumb and obvious, that I feel the movie doesn’t have a right to be so fun to watch.  Sidney Poitier is a black doctor who wants to marry a white woman played by Katherine Houghton.  Houghton’s San Francisco dwelling, liberal parents, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, are challenged by the notion of their white daughter marrying a black man.

Eventually everything works out, but what’s really grating is the notion that the only challenge the movie presents is skin color, which the white liberal family (and, to some extent, the black family) needed to “overcome”; their fairy tale narrative involves a woman marrying a doctor, not say, a member of the a Black Panthers.  And while, I’m not saying every black person is a member of the Black Panthers or is some kind of shifty, shady character who whites distrust, I am saying that I highly doubt liberal parents care THAT MUCH about skin color and skin color alone, with something like the Watts or Detroit riots fresh on their minds.  Be honest here; is the black/white divide based purely on skin pigmentation and on one group of people simply not liking the other because of it?  Is that REALLY the issue here?  Who knows; maybe it was more relevant then and parents really did say, “you’re bringing home a b-b-black?!”

7.) Forrest Gump (1994)

I have a feeling the lovable retard, Forrest Gump, as portrayed by Tom Hanks, is really supposed to be the everyman.  Don’t think for yourself, just let yourself be guided through life and everything will work out fine.  On the other hand, if you do think for yourself, you will die of AIDS.  Nowadays, given our modern zeitgeist, Forrest Gump might be remade with the roles of Gump and Jenny switched.

6.) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Considered an all time classic of American cinema, in which quiver-voiced James Stewart stands in front of the evil, mean-spirited, probably Republican senate for twenty hours and doesn’t back down until they decide to build a camp for boys.  What the camp is for, I’d rather not guess.  Apparently not wanting to spend tax payer dollars on this camp rather than a dam is what is considered “political corruption” by the standards of even then liberal Hollywood.  I’m not a huge James Stewart fan; I often times find him to be more annoying than charming, but he’s been in some classics, such as Hitchcock’s Rear Window, The Man Who Knew too Much and Vertigo, George Cukor’s comedy classic The Philadelphia Story and Capra’s very own It’s a Wonderful Life, but this overly long, preachy, one-sided pile of propaganda is not one of them.

I scrolled through six IMDB pages of 8 to 10 star reviews before I found this two star review from an IMDB user named “lutheranchick”, who writes:

This film is a study of a Good Guy, who wants funding to start a national boys’ camp for the “Boy Rangers”, going against the Bad Guys, who want to build a dam on the same land only for their own selfish interests (not hydro-electricity or anything, you fool). You may ask why taxpayers would want to pay for a camp only a few of the nation’s boys could live near; you may ask why the camp couldn’t be built on a different piece of land; you may ask why a private organization should get federal funds; you may ask if there were any issues that constituents would have found more pressing. Well, apparently that’s because you’re one of the Bad Guys too.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

5.) Bamboozled (2000)

I really despise Spike Lee and his race baiting bullshit.  As much as I enjoyed Do the Right Thing, I DO NOT feel that Mooky “did the right thing” by throwing a garbage can into the window of the pizza shop, and neither do several of my otherwise, sympathetic liberal friends who will run mental gymnastics to rationalize how “that’s not what Spike Lee meant.”  Sorry kiddos, Spike done think you haven’t self-flagellated enough.

Bamboozled is basically a loose remake of the 1976 Sidney Lumet classic, Network, only it’s loaded with old-timey, black racial stereotypes.  This is apparently to send a message that not much has changed and blacks “iz still enslaved to the white man” (well, actually Jewish man according to Spike Lee, but now he’s relegated to saying “white” instead of “Jewish” because we taught him what’s what when he complained about how Jews control Hollywood… only 61% of Hollywood, sheesh).  I actually like old-timey looking stuff, such as old toys, post-cards and cartoons, that have stereotypes of blacks and Asians, not to mention old Nazi propaganda with the hook nosed, Jewish ogre guy, so I guess I got the wrong message out of the movie.

4.) Every white teacher in an inner city school movie ever except for The Principal

Whether it’s Blackboard Jungle from 1955 or Dangerous Minds from 1995, the story is the same.  A white teacher/principal/superintendent from the suburbs comes to an inner city school and learns that, for this bunch, education is the last thing on their minds.  At first the teacher is cynical because, gosh darn it, these kids JUST can’t be taught!  But, through patience and teaching things on their level, in a way they understand, we can turn around this depressing situation.

Of course, in all of these, there will be the bad apple who just can’t be reformed because these movies have to have an ounce of realism.  That’s why the only teacher movie I like is The Principal with Jim Belushi, where the bad kid is played by Michael Wright, who was later in the HBO prison show Oz and he’s REALLY bad.  He ties a kid to a rope by his feet and drops him through the glass ceiling.  Someone that homicidal can’t be reformed.

3.) American History X (1998)

I read somewhere that Edward Norton slammed in the pits of the early ’80s D.C. hardcore scene.  So, it’s not surprising that, just like Ian McKaye turned the hardcore scene into a humorless, PC cesspool, Edward Norton allegedly imposed his vision onto director Tony Kaye, or at least that’s what I’ve read.  I don’t know if, without Norton’s meddling, American History X would have been as good as the far superior Romper Stomper; it’s for damn sure not nearly as fun as Graydon Clark’s 1989 film, Skinheads: The Second Coming of Hate.  The point is a lot of people really like American History X.  The typical defenses for the movie are that it’s “powerful” and “bold” and “the performances are good.”  Well, yeah, Norton and Edward Furlong do a good job.  But at what?  A guy I went to college with named Kip told me that the movie “tricks you into being racist.”  What he meant was that, during the scene where the skinheads challenge the thugs at basketball, they dramatically pump up the music when Norton’s character takes the winning shot in order to make you feel like you’re rooting for him.  Wow, you’re racist now.

Basically the movie is a litmus test to see if you were duped by this stupid ass after school special.  Typical story, kid’s dad is murdered by blacks, becomes leader of neo-Nazi group, meets good black guy in prison, realizes not all blacks are bad – he was given six years in prison for dropping a TV during a robbery?  Why WAS he committing a robbery?  Yeeeahhhh – and then is no longer racist.  Of course the movie’s “big” scene is when Edward Norton curb-stomps someone who is trying to steal his car.  The car thief is black, Norton is white and has a big ol’ swastika tattooed on his chest, so, because he’s a mean, ol’ racist, Norton stomped the guy’s head into a curb.   Did Mr. Dindu-Thuggalicious deserve to have his head stomped into a curb?  No, of course not.  A couple bullets to the chest would have sufficed, as they would for the thugs in Detroit who twice stole my car.

2.) Schindler’s List (1993)

Am I so callous as to deny the world’s most successful filmmaker of all time, Steven Spielberg, his props for making such wickedly awesome films as Duel, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or Raiders of the Lost Ark?  No, that would be foolish.  Those are great films in the action/horror/science fiction genres.  Hell, I even enjoyed Amistad solely for the violent opening scene where the slaves have the revolt and kill a bunch of people.  Spielberg, for all his child pandering bullshit, will put R worth violence on the screen.  Hell, the heart ripping scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was cause enough for the invention of the PG-13 rating.  Actually that makes me wonder if there is a conspiracy; rather than have his audience diminished by an R-rating, Spielberg gets a whole new, not quite R-rating invented for him?

Anyway, somewhere along the line, Spielberg decided to do the Holocaust in three acts.  Filmed in gorgeous black and white – and with a gorgeous set of bouncy tits somewhere in the middle of the movie –  with all of the movie’s budget clearly on the screen, Spielberg tells the tale of how Oscar Schindler (Liam Neeson), the Nazi with a soul, saved 200 Jews from the gas chambers.  Schindler’s foil is Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), the evil, scary, “mwahahahaha”, Jew-killin’ super villain.  Stanley Kubrick complained that the movie focuses on the 200 Jews who were saved and not the 6,000,000 who were killed, but I think the real problem with the movie is that it’s basically a typical three act adventure story with every single Holocaust trope driven into your face for three obnoxious hours before it has an emotional orgasm of “I COULD HAVE SAVED MORE JEWS!!! I’M NOT AS GOOD AS I THOUGHT I WAS!!!  THIS IS THE PART OF THE MOVIE WHERE EVERYONE IS SUPPOSED TO HOLD EACH OTHER AND CRY!!!”  Of course, every tear jerking, white guilt fest needs to have its “crux” moment and, just like American History X had its curb stomping, Schindler’s List had the little girl wearing the red coat atop a pile of dead bodies.  That way you know, with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY, that the Nazis weren’t just bad; they were REALLY bad!

1.) Higher Learning (1995)

John Singleton started out okay with the 1991, “you killed mah BABY!!!”, ghetto drama, Boyz n the Hood, then followed with Poetic Justice, which I haven’t seen, but there’s a reason why Singleton was eventually forced to direct crap like 2 Fast 2 Furious or the Shaft remake, and I believe the problem starts with Higher Learning.  Basically Higher Learning is like a Spike Lee film for retards.  Like Lee’s films, it has a whole bunch of characters doing a bunch of stuff and then it somehow comes together in the end.  Unlike Lee’s films, the characters are one-dimensional caricatures, whose plot trajectories leave one with the basic conclusion that “whity iz the devil.”  I mean, Lee’s films do the same, but they, at least, seem deeper.

Higher Learning takes place at a university, hence the clever title, but all that is learned is that Ice Cube is an asshole, which is okay, because he’s black, and he bullies Michael Rapaport, who, after banging a Kristy Swanson, who cries “rape” in the middle of sex and then becomes a lesbian at the guidance of Jennifer Connelly, turns into a neo-Nazi at the guidance of Cole Hauser, and goes on a shooting spree at the end.  Omar Epps, Tyra Banks, Jason Wiles, Laurence Fishburn, Busta Rhymes and Adam Goldberg round out the cast.

The thugs beat up the Nazis of course, because blacks are the heroes and whites are not only the villains, but also don’t have enough “street” to know how to REALLY fight.  Adam Goldberg has a gun pointed in his face and jumps around and whimpers because Jews are pussies.  The other white guy, Jason Wiles isn’t bad, but he’s naive of the black situation, just like every well-meaning white guy.  And Tyra Banks gets shot at the end because someone needed to get shot by the evil, gun-toting neo-Nazi, so why not make it her?

 

 

You Are Now About to Witness the Strength of Capitalism

n.w.a.

In a movie which is allegedly somewhat about the black struggle in America, the first clear message comes from a member of the L.A. Blood gang: “Why don’t y’all gang-bang them books?”  He asks this after stopping a school bus, walking on and pointing a gun directly at some young punk who thought it was cute and funny to flash gang signs of the opposing Crips out of the school bus window.  Nowhere in Straight Outta Compton, the new N.W.A. biopic, is there mention of wealth redistribution or affirmative action.  There is plenty mention of working hard and getting paid for your work.  There is also at least partial condemnation of ghetto culture.  And, when the movie does touch on the Rodney King riots, it’s with ambiguity.

Straight Outta Compton is killing it in the box office this weekend.  I went to see it and the theater was packed.  Some say the movie is doing so well because people identify with the black struggle against the cops, especially in light of the news media blitzkrieg surrounding the deaths of black teenagers at the hands of white police officers.  I say “that’s bullshit”; the reason the movie is doing so well is because of the gonzo campaign behind it; it looks like a whole heck of a lot of fun and N.W.A. has earned legendary status as the group that truly brought gangsta rap to the forefront of popular culture.  There were others before such as Schooly D and Ice T, but neither dropped as many F or N-bombs as N.W.A.

Before you plunk down $10 to see it, just keep in mind that it’s almost two and a half hours long and, with the exception of Ice Cube, who is played by Ice Cube’s son Oshea Jackson Jr., the actors barely resemble who they’re playing.  Also the first two acts are way more enjoyable than the third, which degenerates into Hallmark-style sentimentality as everyone regains their souls, becomes friends again and Eazy E dies of AIDS (presumably after spreading it to many of the fine hoes he implicitly bangs during the movie).

But the main reason I’m writing this piece is to illuminate how this movie makes one point clear: the only color that truly matters in the United States and any other free society is GREEN.

Staight Outta Compton is for the most part apolitical and, certainly, when watching you it, you never get the feeling you’re being preached at that “black lives matter” or that “cops are bastards.”  I’m to wager there are people on both sides of the cop debate who will have strong opinions about the portrayal of the boys in blue; some will feel the cops are being portrayed as purely evil and racist while some will feel they are not being portrayed as evil and racist enough.  I don’t agree with either of these stances; the cops were portrayed like cops.  It’s not politically correct to say this, but the police officers in Straight Outta Compton acted exactly as they would and should when patrolling a gang and crack infested shithole like Compton; if you feel that Ice Cube was treated unfairly when handcuffed and frisked as he exited his buddy’s house right into the scene of a drug bust, ask yourself: if you were a cop and saw a young man dressed in thuggy, gangsta rap clothes, would take the time to differentiate who’s who in a drug bust?  You know you wouldn’t so stop crying “racist.”  Perhaps they were a bit overzealous during the scene where they shoved all five group members to the ground and handcuffed them during the recording of their debut album, Straight Outta Compton, but again, we’re talking about perceptions in the ghetto.  It isn’t pretty or nice, but it’s the truth.  Yes, one does say “nigger” and I don’t agree with this.

In addition to that there is the infamous scene at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit where the police warn the group not to play their anti-cop smear, “Fuck tha Police” for fear of a riot.  They do it anyway, some fire crackers go off and the audience scatters.  In the movie the group is arrested in front of a rebellious crowd who start a riot; in real life the cops met them at their hotel, took them into the station and let them go after getting their autographs.  Truth really is stranger (and funnier) than fiction.

The movie also touches on the war on drugs.  Anyone who grew up in the 80s and watched TV will have a tizzy at seeing one of Reagan’s batter ram tanks destroy a drug house.  The war on drugs is clearly an overreaction to the crack epidemic, however, the movie glosses over probably one of the biggest contradictions in all of rap music: how nearly the entire gangsta rap industry from 1986 onward was funded by crack money.  Either Snoop Doggy Dogg or Eazy E once noted that, they were simply supplying a good to people who wanted it – stay positive, stay strong!

Then there’s the issue of how the group members treated women.  Straight Outta Compton completely avoids mentioning such tasteful, pro-feminist N.W.A. anthems as “A Bitch Iz a Bitch”, “Just Don’t Bite It”, “She Swallowed It”, “One Less Bitch” and “I’d Rather Fuck You” or the time that Dr.Dre physically assaulted Denise Barns in a nightclub and the rest of the group casually joked about it.  Their attitudes are further underscored during one of the orgy sequences that take place at a hotel room; the members throw some woman named Felicia out of the room after having their way with her and say, “Bye Felicia.”  This is played for laughs and the audience did, in fact, laugh.  The message is clear: “don’t wanna be treated like a hoe, don’t act like hoe” or something like that.  In the same scene, the members pull out sawed off shot guns and automatics on the two guys who were looking for Felicia; clearly gun control isn’t much of an issue for this bunch.

But the real irony about a movie allegedly about black struggle is that the most complicated and nuanced character is white, Jewish manager Jerry Heller (portrayed wonderfully by Paul Giamatti).  Whether intended or not, the strongest and most interesting dramatic scenes involve him and his rather close friendship with Eazy E; Heller acts as his mentor and gives some sound advice to not go and kill strong arm thug Suge Knight after Suge muscled Eazy E into writing Dr. Dre out of the group’s contract.

Heller also provided he biggest “lol” moment for this white, Russian/Ameircan Jew when he reacts to Ice Cube’s song “No Vaseline.”  A couple of lines that imply anti-semitism; “you used a Jew to break up the whole crew.”  Heller starts kvetching, “did you hear that?!  Why aren’t you guys more pissed off?!”  Eazy E responds, “Man,  Jerry, black people don’t know what anti-semitism is!”  Black Muslims sure do and Ice Cube did convert to Islam, but, he’s denied allegations of anti-semitism; “I’m anti-Jerry Heller.”  Fair enough.  Ice Cube has said some rather disturbing things about Korean people as well.  “Pay respect to the black fist/or we’ll burn your store down to a crisp.”

But, once again, I digress.  The bottom line is that, in spite of their struggles with some cops, respecting women, AIDS and censorship, the movie’s primary messages are success, getting rich and working for it.  In fact, probably the best scene to underline the point that you have to pay people for their work was when an infuriated Ice Cube with baseball bat in hand storms into the office of Priority records, shortly after releasing his hit solo album and demands to be paid for his work before smashing everything in sight.  “Take it out of what you owe me.”  Home boy don’t rap for free, ya know?

New Horror Film from Eli Roth Skewers Political Correctness and Multiculturalism

the-green-inferno

Eli Roth’s fourth film, The Green Inferno (following Cabin Fever, Hostel and Hostel: Part 2) is an homage to classic (well, classic to some) Italian cannibal films such as Man from Deep River, Jungle Holocaust, Eaten Alive, Mountain of the Cannibal God, Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Cannibal Ferox and, especially Cannibal Holocaust; yes I’ve seen them all. In the case of the last one, the title for Roth’s film was inspired directly by it, which I will get to momentarily. In addition to being an homage, Roth’s film is also a satire, albeit a fairly mean spirited one, of leftist, liberal and progressive college activists.

For those unaware the cannibal film sub-genre was spawned in Italy in the early 1970s and exhausted itself out in the early 80s. The crowning achievement of the genre is the aforementioned Cannibal Holocaust, whose one distinguishing feature from other cannibal films is that it is a precursor to The Blair Witch Project and other “found footage” horror films.  In fact the documentary being watched within Cannibal Holocaust is called The Green Inferno and follows a team of documentary filmmakers into the jungles of the amazon.  The team proceed to torture the natives, who, in turn torture them back.  All of this is caught on camera and, when shown to the TV crew and, of course the audience, the question is raised: “who are the real cannibals?”  Of course, in Roth’s film, the answer is simple; “The cannibals are the cannibals.”  This has liberals PISSED.

Regerro Deodato’s film along with the other cannibal films is full of violence of every imaginable sort that could not be shown in your average R rated horror film – from the standard decapitations and amputations to more extreme fare like castrations, rape and real animal killing.

It’s 2015 and Roth’s film has no animal killing, but it has plenty of gore. It also includes what might be the final frontier of horror film depravity; female genital mutilation. To be fair America hater Lars Von Trier included this in his film Antichrist from 2009, but Roth is the first to put in a straight ahead horror film.

The basic plot of the movie is that Justine (played by Roth’s super hot wife and Chilean model Lorenzo Izzo) decides to join a group of activists after witnessing a lecture on female genital mutilation in her world studies class and getting manipulated by the sleazy leftist activist Alejandro (Ariel Levy). Their activist trip involves going into a Peruvian jungle and using cell phones and social media to shame land contractors, who employed the help of a gun toting militia, out of bulldozing land of an indigenous Peruvian tribe.  When Justine gets a gun pointed at her head and activist leader Alejandro is ready to sacrifice her for his cause, she starts to get wind of the lengths leftists will go to get their point across.

However, the shaming attempt allegedly works and, after their so called victory – which is revealed to just be a p.r. stunt – the activists crash land into the Peruvian jungle and are tortured and eaten alive by the very people they allegedly came to protect.

Enter liberal outrage.

Roth immediately establishes his disdain for leftist college activist types in the film’s opening scene when the main character is woken up to hunger strikers protesting to increase the wages of janitors. The sentiment is continued further when Kira (singer Sky Ferriera), best friend of Justine exclaims, “activism is so fucking gay”, while also throwing in some remarks about the white Jewish elitist guilt to the horrified stare of a passerby. She turns, pulls out her Star of David pendant and says, “Uh, I can say that!” I laughed wholeheartedly at that. Is Eli Roth really taking a swipe at liberal Jews? I can only hope!

In fact, I’ll go so far as to draw a direct parallel with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict; young, naive activists support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, thinking they’re helping the “poor Palestinians” in spite the fact that Israel was always just protecting itself against rockets fired by a group of people who they’ve conceded land to in every war they’ve won. Naive activists fail to realize that the people they allegedly want to protect are governed by the savages known as Hamas, who couldn’t care less about their cause and are known for stringing gay people on ropes and killing women when they think they’ve committed adultery.  Let us not forget that they use women and children as shields just to make Israel look bad in case they retaliate against rocket fire.

I can only speculate if Roth had any message in mind beyond making fun of social justice warriors. However, it would be nice if the same guy who played the Bear Jew in Quinten Tarantino’s otherwise preposterous Inglorious Basterds, beating the brains out of Nazi soldier with a baseball bat, might have a cautionary, pro-West message in mind. Maybe he was thinking of naive journalists who go to Muslim countries only to be kidnapped and beheaded. Whatever parallel can be drawn, it’s clear the movie doesn’t seem to have a pro-multicultural message. Hell, the protagonist is saved by the very “imperialist” militia she had gone to protest against.

Anyway, back in the jungle the natives are portrayed as primitive savages and waste no time in cooking up and eating the fattest member of their crew, Jonah (Aaron Burns) (did Eli Roth name this character Jonah because he’s fat?) People who hate the film’s message will try and say that the film lacks suspense, pacing, atmosphere, and likeable characters. They’re just looking for excuses to hate it. The Peruvian jungle locale looks gorgeous and we immediately sympathize with Justine the second she finds out that she was a pawn in the “activist” Alejandro’s twisted plot.

On top of that the movie has lots of excitement and gore; branch going through someone’s face, head getting chopped off by a propeller, live body flaying, someone being eaten alive by ants, freshly skinned heads on poles and a throat being slit. The mood is lightened slightly with some juvenile humor in the form of some explosive diarrhea and a “Scooby Doo” style escape plot involving putting marijuana in the cannibals’ food.

When leftists actually admit that the movie is good, as in suspenseful and well made, they complain about how it’s xenophobic and that attacks on social justice warriors are shallow at best. But that’s the point! Social justice warriors ARE shallow, taking on socio-political causes with almost no knowledge of the history behind any of them.

Some critics feel the film’s conclusion makes no sense; that Justine, the only survivor, goes on to lie about her experience with the cannibals to her father, a member of the U.N. I don’t feel this is the case at all.  I feel this is exactly what people on the left do; make excuses, rationalize or flat out lie about how certain cultures just aren’t compatible with Western values.  Eli Roth isn’t afraid to point this out.

The Undertaker and His Pals (1966)

Image
ImageImageImageImage
You just never know.  You watch enough of these and you stumble across a real gem, a movie so funny yet so odd and surreal that it transcends the genre it ostensibly was aiming for.  By all accounts The Undertaker and His Pals could easily be passed over as nothing more than a Herschell Gordon Lewis-style splatter-fest without so much as a thought to technique, script or craft other just getting through the story and showing some onscreen gore but you’d have to be a fool not to see the brilliance of The Undertaker and His Pals.

To be sure The Undertaker and His Pals is undoubtedly a completely miniscule budget affair but, unlike Gordon’s films, everything that the movie doesn’t have is used in its favor.  Bad acting, cheap effects, corny dialogue and predictable and ludicrous plot devices are deliberately played for laughs – but, then again, if you weren’t expecting to laugh at a movie called The Undertaker and His Pals, then you are probably too serious for your own good.  And something that’s often overlooked in these types of films is that the direction from one time director T.L.P. Swicegood (who wrote the script as well) is good!  You cannot say that about an H.G. Lewis picture!

The “plot” is a mish-mash of events that includes three homicidal, machete wielding bikers, a shady undertaker who overcharges on funeral costs, a local diner which serves “leg of lam”, a series of gruesome murders, some cannibalism, a stereotypical private dick who tries to solve the murders, a hot femme fatale named Friday and her equally hot, twin sister, Thursday.  There’s absolutely no reason to further talk about the plot since it’s merely just a frame for a series of ridiculous events, visual gags and slapstick humor.  Some of these are funny; some not so much.  The undertaker tripping on the skateboard was pretty lame (maybe that’s what they were going for) but the site of closeup of the sailor’s photograph, which changes during the murder of a young woman is quite funny.

It’s clear the entire thing is played tongue in cheek like say, A Bucket of Blood or The Little Shop of Horrors but, unlike those films, this one gets as grizzly as say Blood Feast, 2,000 Maniacs or Color Me Blood Red.  There is a machete to the face, scalpel through a forehead, severed limbs, a man dipped into acid, a body disposed of via meat grinder and, grossest of all, a “surgery” sequence in the back of the diner in which we’re treated to an actual closeup of medical, surgery footage to create the “effect.”  Well, it was pretty effective to say the least.

Unfortunately I can’t really say much about who is in the movie because the credits don’t link characters to the actor names except for the super hot Warrene Ott who played Friday and her twin sister Thursday and played some minor roles in some Hollywood sex comedies, James Westmoreland, who played the private dick was in a few TV shows and in the 1980 slasher Don’t Answer the Phone and, unsurprisingly Ray Dannis, who played the Undertaker, also played similarly creepy roles in Al Adamson’s awesome The Corpse Grinders and Tom Alderman’s The Severed Arm.  I also liked the wicked, jazzy score.

And now for the greatest orange soda commercial of all time.

Scream Baby Scream (1969)

Image
ImageImageImage
My grade of three out of four iron crosses can’t be trusted, so don’t get mad at me if you google searched Scream Baby Scream on my recommendation and end up hating it and me (though you probably already do), and then look up my address to try to kill me because you thought I endorsed the movie because I’m telling you right now that it’s a shitty movie.

From the start, it’s clear that this ain’t no high budget affair and that we’re dealing in H.G. Lewis territory.  The direction is only slightly better than an H.G. Lewis film but the lighting is so piss poor, you’re gonna be looking at a black screen for seconds at a time and these aren’t transitions.  Also the two main characters are completely unlikeable, with the male one constantly having a pissy attitude about everything (i.e. “what babe, you’re dancing?  Congrats on being a piece of shit!”) and his girlfriend being a narcissistic, art snob who exemplifies the cliched “free spirit” of the time when she’s just another hussy looking for cheap kicks.  Furthermore the dialogue scenes go on interminably making one (such as me) forget I was even watching a horror movie in the first place.  Oh, and the gore makeup looked like shit.

So, you’re probably wondering what the hell was good about it?  Well, nothing.  I kid, I kid!  In my estimation, the way the movie wrapped up and the shock ending made the movie worthwhile for me even if I found most of it annoying or frustrating.

The main plot concerns a weirdo going around disfiguring people as inspiration for his twisted art.  It’s pretty obvious who is doing the deed, but the result is actually kinda creepy even if the effect comes off as totally cheap.  Also the supposedly sophisticated, European artist doing the killing sounds like the killer in Blood Feast, so that should clue you on the level of acting you’re dealing with.  The two main characters are art students, and they have two other friends who are also a couple, and the group goes around to hippie clubs, drops acid and watches a psychedelic band play.  There’s also a fun acid trip sequence that takes place at a zoo, so that’s another plus, and I liked the mansion setting at the end as well.

Oh and I should mention the zombies.  Yes there are zombies.  Their makeup is really poor and they barely do anything worth noting.

Screenwriter Larry Cohen would go onto write It’s Alive and Q: The Winged Serpent.  I have the worst taste in movies.